'We look forward to welcoming audiences to the magic of The Borrowers' at the Abbey Theatre

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Start the festive season with a treat for the whole family at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. 

This December, the Company of Ten presents Mary Norton’s enchanting classic The Borrowers, in a wonderful stage adaptation by Charles Way.

Arrietty, Pod and Homily Clock are ‘borrowers’ who live under the floorboards in an old country house.

They exist on the scraps they collect from the ‘human beans’ who live upstairs.

Arrietty can’t wait to explore the world outside, but when she is discovered by a human boy, the family must flee to safety, encountering many adventures as they search for a new home.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

There have been several stage and screen adaptations of The Borrowers. 

And the story has a special place in the heart of director Katherine Barry, who says: "I have very fond memories of the BBC production in 1992 as my mother, the late Pamela Cundell, best known for playing Mrs Fox in Dad’s Army, played the part of Aunt Lupy."

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The show presents a challenge to any theatre company that has to create a human-sized world alongside the Lilliputian world of the borrowers.

Katherine said: "This has been tackled by having a very creative set, designed by Dennis O’Connell-Baker, along with the use of puppetry and video effects to create the scenes where the borrowers are in the world of the ‘human beans’."

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Anthea Buxton heads up the props team.

She said: "We are making props of different sizes: huge ones for the little borrowers living under the floorboards, normal sizes for upstairs in the main house, and tiny ones leaving upstairs, and by sleight of hand, becoming huge as they appear downstairs! 

"Our team has risen to the challenge, and we are having great fun thinking outside the box. 

"How do we make a huge cricket, a skipping rope from twigs and grass, a giant onion ring, a teeny warming pan…?" 

Anthea added: "Rehearsals are going really well, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the magic of The Borrowers."

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Performances take place on the Abbey Theatre Main Stage from Friday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 28. Times vary between 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

To book tickets go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861. 

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for The Borrowers at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre has worked hard to ensure that it is a Covid-safe environment and has been awarded a ‘See it Safely’ mark in recognition of its efforts.

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